This issue’s Quiz addresses HR practices at your firm or at clients and relates to our Feature Articles.

Q1 – Are potential career paths understood by junior consultants or entry-level staff?

  1. Yes, various professional or specialty/technical positions as well as supervisory – management positions have both Competency and Experience requirements identified in position descriptions.
  2. Yes, high-potential recruits and early-career individuals are identified by Management and/or HR and then guided by direct supervisor through key assignments, training programs and special assignments to gain the experience needed to advance.
  3. Executive or Partner positions and all the miscellaneous expectations of those seriously interested in such positions are made explicit in documentation or performance review sessions.
  4. Formal or informal mentoring is encouraged for high potentials and all executives/ Partners to engage.

Q2 – When you and your managers assign work do you clearly distinguish in your minds the differences between delegating tasks vs. empowering team members to ‘go beyond’ regular job descriptions.

  1. Tasks are carefully identified with clear deliverables of timeline, quality, and resources/budget parameters. You are equally carefully to assess the skills and motivation of your direct report(s) to do the task – providing appropriate training/coaching and check-back as needed to ensure your team member completes the task effectively.
  2. You recognize that Empowerment is not just assigning/requesting bigger, less defined task completion, with hazy expectations and little oversight.
  3. Empowerment expectations are outlined with clarity of practice area to be addressed by team members, and expectations for what empowered behaviour looks like in action. This is further anchored by organizational vision, values & goals to be achieved – so as to assist employees in exerting judgement on how to go beyond policy or regular practice in order to advance towards these guideposts.

Q3 – When starting a major change initiative/cultural transformation which of these stages do you consciously plan and prepare for?

  1. Organizational Readiness Assessment – with a view to your organizational Vision and change strategy, have you done an assessment of Management & key Professional position competencies and readiness for change?
  2. Diagnosis – do you have a clear sense for the values and culture that you have today vs where you want to take it – and some clear strategies at the work team and other levels to build new attitudes, new work processes and/or new goals.
  3. Design – what initiatives and methods do you have in mind to facilitate transformation in norms and behaviours?
  4. Implementation – do you have support resources and tools in place to help your leaders engage the front-line members of the organization in the change dialogue and implementation?

Q4 – Learning Communities – both organizational and family – have embraced systems thinking in recent years. How have you embraced various systems thinking fundamentals in your leadership?

  1. When solving problems, building strategy or leading innovation – do you start with the end in mind?
  2. Do you move beyond analytical thinking to identify inter-relationships, inter-dependencies and multi-faceted conceptualizing/exploration – both self and with your team?
  3. In dealing with complex systems of systems, are you aware of how major shifts in the environment affect different elements of the complexity? What dynamics exist between sub systems – how do changes in one system impact the other systsms – with what orders of magnitude? (1:1 or 1:10or 1:100 impact?) Where is the “flow” of the systems headed, and where do you want to position your self/organization/family amid that flow? How do you get your people to understand these shifts, changes and their impact on you?